5 thoughts on “New Dickens Biography

  1. Dorothy Jane,

    As you know, I am a Charles Darwin freak. I know that he and Dickens were both members of The Athenaeum Club at the same time,(late 1830’s early 1840’s I believe) and that they were both photographed by a mutual friend photographer only a day apart or a couple hours apart in about 1859 on some beach Holiday near Brighton(?), just about the time that Charles beloved 11 year old Annie was dying. I also know that Charles, due to his sickness, always rested an hour around lunch on a couch and his wife Emma would read him popular novels of the day which they both loved. My question for you, since I am relatively ignorant on Dickens. Do you know of any incidents where he bumps into Charles Darwin and if he logged his impressions or opinions of Darwin—or created a Darwinish character in one of his books?
    Just thought I’d ask, and will periodically check back over the next few days to see if you come up with any info. Sorry to always be giving you homework:) Daddy from JOM.

    1. Daddy! So glad to hear from you! I have enjoyed reading your recent messages on JOM – I find that I mostly lurk over there, but you guys are the highest caliber commenter’s on the internet as far as I am concerned, not sure I can add much to your wonderful conversations.

      I only have a shallow knowledge of all things Dickens. I did read Claire Tomalins’s bio about Nelly Ternan – the assumed mistress, and I am not sure Darwin was mentioned. Dickens was also great friends with Wilkie Collins, who had very unusual living arrangements and I do vaguely recall Collins being influenced or at least aware of Darwin. This may have bled into Dickens thinking, both he and Collins died in a morose state of mind and I think for many Victorians during this period it had much to do with Darwin’s revelations. God or the possible lack of God weighed heavily on their minds, I think… Collins was perhaps a member of The Athenaeum Club as well. I will get to work! Fun, fun project. Thank you so much! I will say that I can HARDLY wait for this Dickens bio to come out. I love Tomalin’s novel like style.

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